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Winer Says Apple Goes Too Far with RSS
Developing Its Own DTD Not a Good Idea, RSS Inventor Says

In what may appear to be an abstruse argument to those not intimately involved with spec development, the recent criticism of Apple may appear to be confusing and perhaps irrelevant. But it goes to the heart of the ongoing debates between open-source software (OSS) advocates and the creeping propretitarianism taken by most large technology companies.

With the release of iTunes 4.9, Apple included an XML document type definition (DTD) for RSS 2.0 that enables access to podcasts. This is meant to help the company built support directly for its podcasts.

But Apple has built this on its own, which can potentially lead it to being able to create its own, proprietary standard, and thus shutting out others who may wish to compete with Apple in the music podcast arena. It is this that rankles many who would always advocate the community approach to developing important new software specs and potential standards.

Dave Winer, creator of the original RSS standard and a frequent Apple criti, has said  "I think it's kind of a bad idea to use a trademark in the name of a namespace. I think Apple may regret doing this. Also their competitors, already objecting to the use of "pod" in the name of the category, may further object to supporting information with a trademark of a competitor as its name. Come on Apple, we can do better."


Dave Winer

Another critic, Tristan Louis has said, on TNL.net, that working to create a joint standard "would...represent a show of good faith from both companies and an understanding that cooperation is good for everyone."


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In what may appear to be an abstruse argument to those not intimately involved with spec development, the recent criticism of Apple may appear to be confusing and perhaps irrelevant. But it goes to the heart of the ongoing debates between open-source software (OSS) advocates and the creeping propretitarianism taken by most large technology companies.




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